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  • Writer's pictureRobert Routt

Manual Transmissions: A Dying Art

T-56 Manual Transmission

The one thing all good young men love is driving cars - nice ones, that is.You will probably come across a car that is manual sometime in your life, whether it be Dad's old Chevy or your new Jeep Wrangler. As the movement toward automatic cars continues, stick shifts are becoming less and less common.Nevertheless, a true car enthusiast knows that when you power your car up to the next gear, there is nothing quite like feeling the change.Developing the skill of manually shifting gears is something every young man should know and can be proud of for years to come.

Stick Shift: How to Drive

  1. It is best to start on a level surface with a minimal amount of people around (mostly so you don't have to deal with embarrassing situations like stalling out.)

  2. Place one foot on the clutch pedal at the far left. The other should be on the middle pedal (the brake).

  3. Put the key in the ignition and turn it while pressing both pedals all the way in.

  4. You should adjust your aviators to ensure complete eye protection, as well as to appear cooler than you actually are.

  5. Get into a driving mindset by choosing the right song and the right volume.

  6. Make sure first gear is selected on the stick.The direction depends on the car, but is usually to the left and forward.Regardless, gears 1-5 are clearly labeled, and an R indicates reverse.

  7. Both feet should remain on the pedals.Step off the break and place your foot on the pedal then pedal to the far right.Slowly lift your foot off the brake while gently pushing it.Your car will catch when you accelerate, and you can start moving once it does.

  8. It's great to see you rolling! (The speed is probably not very fast since you're still in 1st gear). Shifting to 2nd gear will allow you to go faster.The clutch needs to be pressed in all the way again, and the stick needs to be pulled into the gear labeled "2".Shifting gears successfully requires you to have your clutch fully engaged.As you release the clutch, accelerate again.

  9. You should repeat step 9 every time you shift gears.

  10. Listen to your gears changing as you shift as you cruise with the windows down.

*The clutch must be engaged in order to break.You'll stall out...and then probably need a little retail therapy to recover.

Here are Some Reasons Why You Should Consider Manual Transmissions

Considering the above list may seem daunting, here are a few extra reasons to switch to manual transmission.

  • The right to brag.Unlike manuals, automatics can be driven by anyone. You show confidence and know what you're doing.

  • The power is in your hands.The only time you shift gears is when you want to shift.It's all in your well-kept hands, no more automatic controls.

  • It's more power-literally.Manual transmissions are much simpler than automatic transmissions, meaning more power goes directly to the wheels and not other parts of the car, so you can zip down the coastline effortlessly.

  • Mastering a manual will probably allow you to drive anything.Never before has boating looked so easy!

  • Maintenance is less time-consuming, so you get to play more golf.

  • If you did, you'd be a lot cooler.As you shift through your gears effortlessly, you'll look and feel noticeably cooler.It feels empowering to feel the car respond to your touch.

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